Happy Thanksgiving! In the place of a new interview this week, I’ve invited all the artists and designers I’ve interviewed, including all our international friends, to join in this American tradition and share what they’re most thankful for. Though I would love to have everyone gathered around the same table and sharing a great meal, this is my way of connecting this little family of artists and designers. I’ve also asked each person what their favorite food is, and it seems they’re nearly as passionate about food as they are about their creative work! Enjoy, and cheers to you all.
A Thanksgiving feast
In general, I am very thankful that in the difficult times of the last year, our wonderful clients have continued to value our work and support us. It is gratifying that good designs with a story to tell have an increasing place of importance in the world. And my favourite food is the giant, New Zealand, green lipped mussel.
– David Trubridge, artist and designer
Thanksgiving has always meant a family turkey hunt (not Butterball for the Flato family!), with plenty of pies and sides to make a meal of the rather “lean” Hill Country turkeys that we usually encounter. Favorite food? The Hill Country turkey!
– Ted Flato of architecture firm Lake|Flato
I’m most thankful for experiencing my granddaughter’s first Thanksgiving. Ophelia is 8 months old, and this is her first visit to NYC. My favorite food: Pomegranate. I have been enjoying adding it to a variety of dishes including salads and entrées. I also love iced pomegranate tea.
– Roberta Freymann, fashion designer
What am I most thankful for? That’s a tough one as I’m thankful for so many things. I guess in this context, I’m thankful for having the incredible luxury of being able to spend my days working on something I love. My favorite food: For main dishes, North Indian. For desserts, anything with chocolate!
– Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora internet radio
I am thankful for the people around me…my children, my husband, the connections to my family, my friends and my dogs. My favorite food is roasted Brussel sprouts (sorry).
– Lee Rhodes, glassybaby
I am most thankful for my wife. My favorite food is dried fish. And sushi. I like almost all seafood.
– Hiroshi Yoshii, 3D illustrator
I’m so thankful that I have a really, really wonderful life, that I have a beautiful place in the city and I work here 4 or 5 days a week, and I have a country home. I mean, what could be better than that? I have the best of both worlds. And a loving family. My parents are elderly but they’re still alive, and I’m so thankful that they have been able to see me progress nicely. I have a wonderful husband and a loving marriage. I don’t have any children, but my shoes are my babies! My favorite food is pizza — I am a pizza lover my whole life. I could eat pizza everyday and am a pizza connoisseur — I’m always looking for that perfect pizza!
– Bettye Muller, shoe designer (interview coming December 10th!)
I am most thankful for my 2 beautiful daughters. Food is way too important to me to pick one item that I like the best. I really like too many things!
– Donna Gorman, textile designer
I love Thanksgiving turkey with a special stuffing my grandmother made almost a hundred years ago.
– Corky Normart, watercolorist
I am thankful for the fact that we have always been invited to Thanksgiving dinners! Last year for a change, my daughter (who is a junior in high school) prepared a turkey for our family. She picked a kosher recipe online, and it was really good. This year she is going to do it again. Maybe she is starting a new tradition. I am now thankful my daughter loves to cook!
I also really enjoy cooking. Every evening I prepare a 3-dish dinner in less than 25 minutes. Our family’s current favorite is diced chicken stir-fried with seasonal vegetables. This year my son is coming home from freshman year at college for 3 short days, and I plan to indulge him with all his favorite foods!
– Maria Yee, furniture designer
I’m most thankful for being able to continue working for myself, rather than having to work for somebody else. And continue doing what I love to do, especially considering a lot of this happened by accident — or so-called accident! Favorite food? Boy, that’s tough… Sushi is right up there, I love sushi. God, I love all kinds of food — I’m just a food lover!
– Mike Totah, The Wheel, stoneware artist (interview coming December 3!)
I’m thankful for being healthy, having my husband Jonathan as a creative partner, and thankful for any free time I can get. My favorite foods are arugula and parmesan salad, sushi, and bittersweet chocolate.
– Trina Turk, fashion designer
I’m extremely thankful to be doing something I love and that seems to bring people around the world much joy. I have a wonderful wife and 4 year old boy, and I really appreciate having them in my life. Finally, my favorite foods — guilty pleasures: fried chicken and chocolate gelato; pretty healthy: sushi and Caesar salad.
– Dan Storper, founder and CEO of Putumayo World Music
I am thankful for the light, universal love and the breath of life. I hope and I pray that the light that shines in the dark, that darkness cannot comprehend, the unconditional love that sticks closer even when I don’t deserve it, and finally the slow and steady beat of the organ that stays awake even when I’m asleep. I love any food with cooked shrimps and fish.
– Lanre Adefioye, painter
I’m thankful for the building skills that my parents gave me. They taught me that I could make or build what I wanted in life. As a modernist, it’s hard to find simple and affordable well-designed items. Right now, I’m actually building my own mobile 400 square-foot prefab summer home. Modern with lots of glass – just the way I like it.
My favorite food is a nice ribeye with imported Peruvian hot peppers and spicy butter sauce.
– Edgar Blazona, furniture and prefab home designer
What am I most thankful for? I think I am most thankful for the fact that I am able to travel freely between countries. Thanks to that, I was able to meet my husband Ian and have the types of travel experiences that have made our lives so rich. My parents were not able to travel as freely as it is possible now. I appreciate this fact and am sort of making up for lost time by seeing everything there is is to see, and by photographing it all. I also appreciate being able to bring Ian home to Poland. One year we were there over Thanksgiving vacation. We bought a turkey and cooked an American Thanksgiving dinner for my family, complete with cranberries and stuffing, which everyone enjoyed.
As for the food, I think my favorite dish is Potrawka. It is a traditional Polish dish which consists of shredded chicken in a white gravy type sauce served with rice. It’s typical of Polish cuisine — rich, warm and delicious.
– Magda Biernat, photographer
I’m thankful that I’ve been lucky enough to have an interesting and fulfilling life. Japanese food is my favorite.
– Max Osterweis, SUNO, fashion designer
I am thankful for my family and for the talent I was born with. I live to nurture and respect them both. My favorite food is any dosa served at Hampton Chutney (in Amagansett or NYC).
– Maryanne Quinn, felted wool artist
I’m most thankful for having meaningful relationships with friends and family. I’m (almost) most thankful for the gift of gardening, both edible and ornamental. And being able to share this love with others. My favorite food is freshly baked whole grain bread.
– Ron van Dongen, photographer
I am most thankful for the gift of life. I am thankful for the ability to share my talent with a fellow man. I am thankful for the kindness of a fellow man. I am thankful for the love of family. Some of my favorite foods are afang soup and coconut rice, and I am thankful that when I hunger for these tastes of my original homeland, I can get to eat them in America.
– Victor Ekpuk, artist
What am I thankful for? I am thankful that I am living in a place I love, surrounded by people who are filled with hope and brightness, and that every day I learn from them.
My fave food: now that I live in Cambodia, it’s changed — things I can’t get here on a regular basis have taken on great importance ….I would have to say cheese in all it’s forms and flavors is something I can’t live without, that I love, worship, and cherish!
– Elizabeth Keister, Wanderlust, fashion designer
What I am most thankful for? There are so many things, and for every word that I can think of there are ten others. Health is the most important thing. Health of the spirit, body and mind. I am thankful to have been able to grow up in nature, to have been able to be curious and explore, to travel and see the world, to be able to know that there is so much more out there. I am thankful to have a great family and a few great friends and to know that I have been blessed to know all that.
As for food, a simple Mediterranean cuisine with lots of fruits and some great red wine.
– Roberto Dutesco, photographer and filmmaker
I’m thankful to all you wonderful souls who value beauty and expression and pursue them endlessly, and to my readers who keep popping up all over the world! I’m also thankful for my two happy, rambunctious boys who love to keep me on my toes everyday. And that my practical, Taurus husband knows to take a deep breath whenever I start a sentence with ‘I’ve been thinking…’ (which invariably leads to something along the lines of ‘Let’s move to Barcelona!’).
As for food, I love what I call Mediterranean ‘picnic’ food: fresh fruit, cheese, bread, prosciutto, wine, etc. And stuffed grape leaves and paella. And Indian and Moroccan food. And pink champagne! And Asian food of almost any cuisine. And chocolate! Also, here’s a great little treat: spread a soft cheese called Fromager d’Affinois and then the Dalmatia Fig Spread pictured below (the front jar, available at Whole Foods) on top of stoned wheat crackers. It’s like tasting sweet sunshine (calories be damned, obviously).
Love to you all, Kathryn
Dalmatia fig spread (orange label on lid)
Readers, I’d love you to join in and share what you’re thankful for and what your favorite food is!